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ATP 500/250 Dubai/Acapulco/Sao Paolo

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Post by noleisthebest on Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:14 am

Match(es) of the day:

Djokovic - Istomin
Murray - Anduhar (can Anduhar take Murray down and not choke like he did against Nadal)
Gulbis - Lu (big test for Gulbis against this ultra grinder, esp after changing continent, time zone as well as surface all in two days!)

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Post by noleisthebest on Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:27 am

Nole talks about how he coped with his QF AO loss to Stan and a few other things:.

"After the Australian Open I have done a lot of things and went to the places that I haven't seen for a long time I reconnected again with my ... period of growing up, and spent time with the family. So that's something that has given me a lot of food for the soul, if I can call it that way, and a lot of positive life energy which I can hopefully transfer to the court now."

Djokovic admits his semi-final loss to Stanislas Wawrinka in five close sets was hard to handle, which is partly why he has taken "quite a bit of time off. I have had only five matches this year, and it's going to be challenging for me to go out on the court and to find a way to play these kind of match situations. Because I haven't had many matches this year for sure.
That's why I have to be extra careful because it is totally different when you get on the court and have a match in front of thousands of people."


On "mental edge":

That's one of the reasons why Boris  is here, you know.
The big matches and Grand Slams I've felt like I have dropped two or three titles in the last two years that I could have won.
In big matches I felt that there was that mental edge which was lacking a little bit and so hopefully Boris can contribute in this way also.
This is area where Boris can help, figuring out the match situation and details and the positioning on the court."


I liked "the food for the soul" bit. It's so easy to alienate oneself from oneself pursuing high goals like some of these very top players do.
It must be very hard to cope emotionally with those big losses on the deepest level, get them out of your system and move on relatively unscarred, when all they do day in day out is work and live so single-mindedly for those matches.
Experience surely helps, and also a general character of a player, but it's interesting to see how they all deal with that aspect of their pro life, as well.

One of the first things that struck me when I saw some live matches from close up was how very vulnerable and fragile players look on court, how they struggle with that intensity, focus and pressure.
It must be so demanding in every possible way, which explains the way players relieve the joy of victory.
But we rarely get to witness how they cope with losses.

In some ways, they are almost more moving and memorable: Fed's loss in 2009 AO final, Murray's 2012 Wimbledon final loss, Nole's Beijing Olympic SF loss...

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Post by noleisthebest on Tue Feb 25, 2014 2:58 pm

Delpo retires in his 1st match. Such a shame.

Nole time! diva

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Post by Tenez on Tue Feb 25, 2014 3:12 pm

noleisthebest wrote:
That's one of the reasons why Boris  is here, you know.
The big matches and Grand Slams I've felt like I have dropped two or three titles in the last two years that I could have won.
In big matches I felt that there was that mental edge which was lacking a little bit and so hopefully Boris can contribute in this way also.
This is area where Boris can help, figuring out the match situation and details and the positioning on the court."

But strangely, he did not lose those fights to players who were not as fit as him. He only lost those slams to players simply fitter than him....so where is the mental side in that?


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Post by DEC1M8 on Tue Feb 25, 2014 3:15 pm

FK,
Federer is statistically the best, and I've never said anything differently.
Why take a contrary position to a point no one has made?

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Post by Tenez on Tue Feb 25, 2014 3:42 pm

I'd say Fed is statistically the GOAT, Nadal is statistically the best...though now it's Stan actually as Stan beat the "best". Problem with the "best" is that it's a short lived title.

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Post by noleisthebest on Tue Feb 25, 2014 3:57 pm

Tenez wrote: But strangely, he did not lose those fights to players who were not as fit as him. He only lost those slams to players simply fitter than him....so where is the mental side in that?

The three/4 matches he is talking about are:
RG SF against Nadal - clearly a mental problem due to lack of composure
Wimbledon final against Murray, a very dodgy one, arrived to Murray on a plate having been physically squeezed out by Delpo in the grueling 5 set SF
USO final loss from Nadal, that's the only one he lost to a physically fitter/stronger player, as Nadal seemed to have peaked in his cycle during the American hard court season and USO
AO QF loss to Stan, don't think Stan was the fitter player, only, physically stronger.

So, I do think he has some problem, maybe lack of will or confidence. Maybe things he can't talk about but obviously frustrate him.
He did admit he wanted to quit in 2010, so must load enormous pressure on himself and then struggles to cope with not being able to live up to his own goals, losing belief.

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Post by Tenez on Tue Feb 25, 2014 4:03 pm

noleisthebest wrote:
The three/4 matches he is talking about are:
RG SF against Nadal - clearly a mental problem due to lack of composure
I do not see lack of composure as a mental issue necessarily...not against nadal. Being rushed into mistakes is typically a physical issue. And particularly here as that famous smash happened when tired in the 5th.
Wimbledon final against Murray, a very dodgy one, arrived to Murray on a plate having been physically squeezed out by Delpo in the grueling 5 set SF
Djoko himself blamed fatigue there.
USO final loss from Nadal, that's the only one he lost to a physically fitter/stronger player, as Nadal seemed to have peaked in his cycle during the American hard court season and USO
Yep...but not the only one!
AO QF loss to Stan, don't think Stan was the fitter player, onlyphysically stronger.
No but that one doesn't count as he had already picked on Becker so that matc h is not the reason why he asked Becker to help him mentally.

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Post by noleisthebest on Tue Feb 25, 2014 4:07 pm

Tenez wrote:
No but that one doesn't count as he had already picked on Becker so that matc h is not the reason why he asked Becker to help him mentally.

I can see you grinning from ear to ear as you typed that one.... Winking

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Post by noleisthebest on Tue Feb 25, 2014 4:15 pm

Then there was that really weird loss to Berdych I think in Miami or IW where Nole destroyed him in the first set and then just lost to him meekly.

He really did have some unusual losses last year.
I just think he may struggling with the fact his body is not able to do any more outlasting esp against Nadal, and finding it difficult to adjust and win differently.

What do you think?

And what does he mean by Boris helping him with the mental edge?
I think the mental edge bit is a side show, and the real reason he hired him is to sort out his transition game, basically make him a bolder player.

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Post by noleisthebest on Tue Feb 25, 2014 4:50 pm

Just heard a funny remark on Istomin playing from so far back:

If he goes back any further, he'll have to pay to come in!

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Post by noleisthebest on Tue Feb 25, 2014 4:51 pm

And....a pretty routine win fir Nole, 6:3 6:3, not bad for a first match after a long break.

Having seen both him and Federer now,  I look forward to their semi on Friday.

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Post by Tenez on Tue Feb 25, 2014 4:58 pm

noleisthebest wrote:Then there was that really weird loss to Berdych I think in Miami or IW where Nole destroyed him in the first set and then just lost to him meekly.

He really did have some unusual losses last year.
I just think he may struggling with the fact his body is not able to do any more outlasting esp against Nadal, and finding it difficult to adjust and win differently.

What do you think?

And what does he mean by Boris helping him with the mental edge?
I think the mental edge bit is a side show, and the real reason he hired him is to sort out his transition game, basically make him a bolder player.

Well weird losses happen every now and then. Djoko does not have many of those.

The thing is if he becomes stronger mentally, then he will be able to same some physical energy. It's what Federer does, helped with talent of course, but Fed still goes for the trigger under pressure....it has cost him a lot of matches certainly but at the same time it has saved him physically over the years.

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Post by noleisthebest on Tue Feb 25, 2014 5:05 pm

Well I thought that was the solution for a long time, and still believe he can pull it off in theory.
He is a very good mover and can take the ball early, serves well, nothing stopping him from playing a bit more loosely.

He has to stamp out those fears asap. That's where he and Becker differ mostly as players, so I hope Becker can wake Nole up.

It's worth a try, although it may not happen, though.

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Post by Tenez on Tue Feb 25, 2014 5:29 pm

But the main problem again are the pace conditions. becker would be completely useless on those courts...especially him who was never a good mover.

What is really weird with Nole is the part where he goes awol like in that second or 3rd set of the FO13. I don't think it's mental but he can easily give a set away for no reason.

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Post by noleisthebest on Tue Feb 25, 2014 5:32 pm

But he obviously think there IS a reason and calls it "mental edge" and hopes Boris pins it down somehow... ah well... Sad

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Post by noleisthebest on Tue Feb 25, 2014 5:34 pm

How would you fix Nole if you landed Boris' job?

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Post by Tenez on Tue Feb 25, 2014 6:31 pm

noleisthebest wrote:But he obviously think there IS a reason and calls it "mental edge" and hopes Boris pins it down somehow... ah well... Sad

We are not sure he means what he says...and I never believed in hiring a former slam champ as coach to add more slams. It may have worked for Murray but to me this is a bad example. Boris could teach him how to volley..maybe but th egame changed so much that I ma not sure it would be helpful. However I think Boris is actually a good commentator at times so he has a good vision of the current game. Whether that will help or not...not sure.

I am very doubtful about that relationship....I was from the very beginning....but I have been surprised more than once.

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Post by Tenez on Tue Feb 25, 2014 6:32 pm

noleisthebest wrote:How would you fix Nole if you landed Boris' job?

Nowadays, it's very simple.....you simply need to get fitter! And in Djoko's case keep the focus.....probably by becoming fitter.

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Post by noleisthebest on Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:23 pm

Tenez wrote:
noleisthebest wrote:How would you fix Nole if you landed Boris' job?

Nowadays, it's very simple.....you simply need to get fitter! And in Djoko's case keep the  focus.....probably by becoming fitter.

That's amazing. Pro tennis has nothing left in common with us mortals any more...strange how conditions are dictating fitness to the be the distinguishing element now.

The fact doping is illegal or covered up, makes it even harder for lower ranked players to break through as they can't afford "the best stuff" on the market.

Where will it all end....I just think it's got to calm down a bit as soon as Nadal is finished. He really took "The Show" to the new level.

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Post by DEC1M8 on Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:53 pm

Tenez wrote:
noleisthebest wrote:How would you fix Nole if you landed Boris' job?

Nowadays, it's very simple.....you simply need to get fitter! And in Djoko's case keep the  focus.....probably by becoming fitter.
How long would you last as coach you think?

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Post by noleisthebest on Tue Feb 25, 2014 8:34 pm

Really sad to see Del Potro cry in his towel before he retired today.
Just as he started playing really well again after that year off due to the right wrist surgery, it's the left one that is giving him some big trouble atm.
He went to Mayo clinic after AO, but they don't seem to have fixed the problem. I hope he doesn't have to have another surgery.


"I don't feel really well. My wrist is hurting a lot and everybody knows what happened to me four years ago with my other wrist.
It was really tough to play today. I tried everything. I cannot be the player I would like to be.''





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Post by DEC1M8 on Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:39 pm

I have great sympathy for Del Potro, hope he can get back to full fitness.

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Post by noleisthebest on Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:33 am

Lots of good matches today:

Dubai

Berdych - Strakhovski
Davydenko - Tsonga (repeat of last week in Marseille, Tsonga won in 2 TBs)
Federer - Stepanek
Djokovic - Agut

Acapulco (which btw is not played on clay any more, but hc from this year)

Gulbis - Goffin
Dimitrov - Baghdatis
Simon - Young
Chardy - Dolgopolov


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Post by Tenez on Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:42 am

Julia Santamaria wrote:
Tenez wrote:
noleisthebest wrote:How would you fix Nole if you landed Boris' job?

Nowadays, it's very simple.....you simply need to get fitter! And in Djoko's case keep the  focus.....probably by becoming fitter.
How long would you last as coach you think?

I don't know but I don't think I would do too bad a job....there is the human side of it too where I think I can be good too... I can get along with many people and when I don't, it's often, if not always, my choice.

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Post by DEC1M8 on Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:14 am

Tenez wrote:So I must be one....and another guy in my club did it too. The fact is it does not mean anything....otherwise Fed and Nadal would keep doing it on every point...but they don't do they?
This once again just shows how biased you are.
I mean forget the poor logic, (the idea that Nadal and Federer not playing the tweener lob with great frequency means it doesn't take timing and incredible hand eye coordination is farcical reasoning)

But what is obvious is that you've only written this post because we had a debate last week, where I happened to post a link to Nadal playing a tweener lob.
I am 99% sure that is I hadn't posted that link and you hadn't seen Nadal hit it... you wouldn't have written that above post. Or is it once again meant to be a coincidence.

Once again such a simplistic way of thinking; you watch a shot and instead of watching the ball you see the player. If it's Nadal you come on here to criticise the shot and dismiss it with 'everyone in my club can do that'; if it is a shot you haven't see Nadal play you say how impressed you are by it.
It's even gets to the farcical point where you have to apply this to all shots hit by everyone that Nadal has hit, hence you here being dismissive of Federer's tweener.
Unlike you, I'm not so narrow minded to not praise a good shot from anyone, even if it's Nadal rival.

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Post by noleisthebest on Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:52 pm

Tweeners are just interesting one-off trick shots, because players do something different to get out of a difficult situation.
Plus, Fed does them so elegantly.
I much prefer to watch proper shot-making, esp down the line.

It's comical you are comparing Nadal and Federer based on tweeners....but I suppose, you have no other choice than to scrape the bottom when it comes to Nadal.
You've chosen the worst player to support, Amri, it must be really hard work for you!

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Post by DEC1M8 on Wed Feb 26, 2014 2:07 pm

noleisthebest wrote:It's comical you are comparing Nadal and Federer based on tweeners....but I suppose, you have no other choice than to scrape the bottom when it comes to Nadal.
I'm not comparing them because of tweeners, I'm pointing out how simplistic Tenez's analysis is; compromising of a flow chart where Nadal always points to bad, and anything else points to good.

noleisthebest wrote:You've chosen the worst player to support, Amri, it must be really hard work for you!
Sometimes you get confused between subjective opinions, and fact. You have a superiority complex and hence assume your opinion is the one everyone must take, even though they are often illogical and contradictory.

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Post by Tenez on Wed Feb 26, 2014 2:08 pm

Julia Santamaria wrote:
Tenez wrote:So I must be one....and another guy in my club did it too. The fact is it does not mean anything....otherwise Fed and Nadal would keep doing it on every point...but they don't do they?
This once again just shows how biased you are.
I mean forget the poor logic, (the idea that Nadal and Federer not playing the tweener lob with great frequency means it doesn't take timing and incredible hand eye coordination is farcical reasoning)

But what is obvious is that you've only written this post because we had a debate last week, where I happened to post a link to Nadal playing a tweener lob.
I am 99% sure that is I hadn't posted that link and you hadn't seen Nadal hit it... you wouldn't have written that above post. Or is it once again meant to be a coincidence.

Once again such a simplistic way of thinking; you watch a shot and instead of watching the ball you see the player. If it's Nadal you come on here to criticise the shot and dismiss it with 'everyone in my club can do that'; if it is a shot you haven't see Nadal play you say how impressed you are by it.
It's even gets to the farcical point where you have to apply this to all shots hit by everyone that Nadal has hit, hence you here being dismissive of Federer's tweener.
Unlike you, I'm not so narrow minded to not praise a good shot from anyone, even if it's Nadal rival.
You are so ignorant about the game it's pathetic. A great shot doesn't say anything about being a genius or not unless it has something really exceptional but more importantly done consistently at will. The tweener can be done by every single player on the tour....are they all geniuses? Any player who plays a lot can do tweeners. They often not choose to do it cause they prefer a safer way to get the ball back. The better players will do it more often than not but they can all do it. Just google them on youtube and see the number of "geniuses" out there!


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Post by noleisthebest on Wed Feb 26, 2014 2:11 pm

Julia Santamaria wrote:
Sometimes you get confused between subjective opinions, and fact. You have a superiority complex and hence assume your opinion is the one everyone must take, even though they are often illogical and contradictory.

He, he, Amri, if it's not "ad hominem attacks" it's "superiority complex"... always someone else's fault !

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Post by DEC1M8 on Wed Feb 26, 2014 2:17 pm

Tenez wrote:
Julia Santamaria wrote:
Tenez wrote:So I must be one....and another guy in my club did it too. The fact is it does not mean anything....otherwise Fed and Nadal would keep doing it on every point...but they don't do they?
This once again just shows how biased you are.
I mean forget the poor logic, (the idea that Nadal and Federer not playing the tweener lob with great frequency means it doesn't take timing and incredible hand eye coordination is farcical reasoning)

But what is obvious is that you've only written this post because we had a debate last week, where I happened to post a link to Nadal playing a tweener lob.
I am 99% sure that is I hadn't posted that link and you hadn't seen Nadal hit it... you wouldn't have written that above post. Or is it once again meant to be a coincidence.

Once again such a simplistic way of thinking; you watch a shot and instead of watching the ball you see the player. If it's Nadal you come on here to criticise the shot and dismiss it with 'everyone in my club can do that'; if it is a shot you haven't see Nadal play you say how impressed you are by it.
It's even gets to the farcical point where you have to apply this to all shots hit by everyone that Nadal has hit, hence you here being dismissive of Federer's tweener.
Unlike you, I'm not so narrow minded to not praise a good shot from anyone, even if it's Nadal rival.
You are so ignorant about the game it's pathetic. A great shot doesn't say anything about being a genius or not unless it has something really exceptional but more importantly done consistently at will. The tweener can be done by every single player on the tour....are they all geniuses?  Any player who plays a lot can do tweeners. They often not choose to do it cause they prefer a safer way to get the ball back. The better players will do it more often than not but they can all do it. Just google them on youtube and see the number of "geniuses" out there!

Nadal pulls off shots regularly when he's on the back foot in rallies that need stunning reflexes and hand-eye coordination. The incredible hotdog lob against Djokovic which landed right on the line is another prime example.
Unfortunately your way of thinking is too simple minded, any shot you see Nadal hit you dismiss as easy to hit. Didn't you also say the same about Nadal's banana shot against Verdasco?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9HV_swF_XY

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Post by Tenez on Wed Feb 26, 2014 3:43 pm

Julia Santamaria wrote:
Nadal pulls off shots regularly when he's on the back foot in rallies that need stunning reflexes and hand-eye coordination. The incredible hotdog lob against Djokovic which landed right on the line is another prime example.
Unfortunately your way of thinking is too simple minded, any shot you see Nadal hit you dismiss as easy to hit. Didn't you also say the same about Nadal's banana shot against Verdasco?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9HV_swF_XY

So you are a fan of Nadal but still don't know what makes him an exceptional player?

Let me tell you once more.

It's the power of his shots and more so the fact he can go for ever hitting as hard while all other players on tour only go for the most powerful shots once in a rally if not once every 3 rallies. Nadal has that intensity in every single ball he hits. That something no other player can do...whether it is genius though is sincerely debatable.

And stop talking about exceptional eye/hand coordination. I know you'd love Nadal to have those skills but you have picked the player who stand furthest away from the baseline when his game would be so much better if he could stand closer, especially on green fresh grass or all other faster surfaces.

You are a fan but frankly a sad fan cause you like a player for the qualities you would like him to have but you deep down know he does not possess. I am sorry, we can't help you there....No-one is going to agree with the fact that Nadal can take the ball early when he himself admits he is trying to but can't take it as early as Djoko!

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Post by noleisthebest on Wed Feb 26, 2014 3:48 pm

Back to Fed - Stepanek, only saw the 1st game.


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Post by DEC1M8 on Wed Feb 26, 2014 3:49 pm

Tenez wrote:when his game would be so much better if he could stand closer
Why on earth would he want to change anything in his game, he's already one of the greatest of all time!

So you are a fan of Nadal but still don't know what makes him an exceptional player?

Let me tell you once more.
I've shown on the other thread why your theory on Nadal simply cannot be correct... and you have not really even tried to answer those questions.

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Post by Tenez on Wed Feb 26, 2014 3:59 pm

Julia Santamaria wrote:
Tenez wrote:when his game would be so much better if he could stand closer
Why on earth would he want to change anything in his game, he's already one of the greatest of all time!

So you are a fan of Nadal but still don't know what makes him an exceptional player?

Let me tell you once more.
I've shown on the other thread why your theory on Nadal simply cannot be correct... and you have not really even tried to answer those questions.

His game works certainly but as far as I know Nadal never wanted to give away to the opposition the 24 slams out of the 37 slams he played. So in fact he only won the slams he could win with his game. If he was as talented as the opposition while being as fit as now he would have never lost a slam....a bit what Federer did more or less for 5 years. Nadal as his slam records shows seems to be only winning when the ball slows down enough on the baseline. SO it is a bit rish of you to say he has great eye/hand coordination.

Doesn't he say his favourite slam is Wimbledon? he has not 8 titles there has he?

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Post by DEC1M8 on Wed Feb 26, 2014 4:02 pm

13/37 is a superb return, however you try to twist it. Certainly not much cause for a major change to his game, that's for sure.

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Post by DEC1M8 on Wed Feb 26, 2014 4:05 pm

Incredible how this forum is far busier than v2... last year it was exactly the other way round.

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Post by Tenez on Wed Feb 26, 2014 4:10 pm

Julia Santamaria wrote:13/37 is a superb return, however you try to twist it. Certainly not much  cause for a major change to his game, that's for sure.

Yes it is a return based on slow surfaces. First 8 on clay....then thanks to further slowing of other slam surfaces....5 more. If Federer could have physically outran Nadal then he would have won the 8 Wimbies out of Nadal....likewise if Nadal had better eye/hand coordination skills he would have won many more....if not all of them.

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Post by noleisthebest on Wed Feb 26, 2014 4:11 pm

Julia Santamaria wrote:13/37 is a superb return, however you try to twist it. Certainly not much  cause for a major change to his game, that's for sure.

The point is, there is not a lot he can do to change his game. He is a one trick pony, and a well favoured one given a huge head-start  to win so many races among the better opposition.

The day is definitely coming when the truth will come out. For you and other Nadal fans, only because to some it has been obvious from day one.
And even then, most will not care...like it was the case with Agassi.

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Post by noleisthebest on Wed Feb 26, 2014 4:12 pm

This new racquet seems to be giving Fed a lot more easy power.

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Post by DEC1M8 on Wed Feb 26, 2014 4:18 pm

noleisthebest wrote:
The point is, there is not a lot he can do to change his game.
How do you or Tenez know this? Unless he actually undergoes a shift in his gameplay, you're just making assumptions.

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Post by Tenez on Wed Feb 26, 2014 4:28 pm

Great play from both Step and Federer. How did fed manage to lose his service game?

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Post by Tenez on Wed Feb 26, 2014 4:39 pm

Fed loses the TB after breaking back. I must say Fed's serve is not nearly as good as on Monday.

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Post by noleisthebest on Wed Feb 26, 2014 4:43 pm

Tenez wrote:Great play from both Step and Federer. How did fed manage to lose his service game?

Didn't see, but the comeback was so good, shame about the tie-break.
That was such a great point at 15:30, when Fed picked up that half volley and then Stepanek (35) finished the point off with the volley.
Amazing agility and reflexes for such and "old" player Winking
Fed clearly not trusting his racquet fully, but when he does, it looks so good!

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Post by noleisthebest on Wed Feb 26, 2014 4:48 pm

Did you notice when Fed saved the 1st set point in that TB, (when Stepanek netted that smash), how stressed and relieved Federer was at the same time, he had to go and calm himself with a towel wipe, I haven't seen him do that often.
He started the match very aggressive and then slowed down playing safely by his standards.
Will be interesting to see how he plays in the 3rd.

He did wince and look at his box a couple of times early in the 2nd set.

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Post by noleisthebest on Wed Feb 26, 2014 4:58 pm

Break back, what a relief...

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Post by Tenez on Wed Feb 26, 2014 4:59 pm

Yes he doesn't look happy. Step is playing so great...but again Fed gives him a ball relatively easy to handle .

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Post by Tenez on Wed Feb 26, 2014 5:03 pm

Step is really great to watch...but again...Fed's serve is terrible.

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Post by noleisthebest on Wed Feb 26, 2014 5:03 pm

The beauty of confidence winning gives you, when you go for your shots without thinking - that's what Fed has missed for some time.
He has to work hard for those wins now to get back into that position again.
Come on Fed diva

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Post by Tenez on Wed Feb 26, 2014 5:20 pm

Yes but it's clear there is something wrong with fed again. He simply cannot serve.

Plus he seems to have a belly now....or it is his heating belt?

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